EdUHK Collection

A study of the experiences of sexuality in male young people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and its Implications for the promotion of sexuality education /

Book 1 of 1

View file online

A study of the experiences of sexuality in male young people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and its Implications for the promotion of sexuality education /

Open in iSearch

Student Theses
Publication Information:
Shiu, Wai Fan Victoria
Hong Kong : The Education University of Hong Kong
Young people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) might have particular difficulties in developing romantic and sexual relationships, and learning sexual knowledge from reciprocal social interactions. The unique sexuality of young people with HFASD raises public concerns about the need to develop tailored sexuality education programs and teaching strategies for this population. There is an urgent need to understand their experiences of sexuality, in order to shed light on the appropriate sexuality education and services for them. This study employed interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to understand the experiences of sexuality of young people with HFASD in Hong Kong. Interpretative phenomenological analysis addresses the unequal power relationship between the researcher and the participants, so it is a useful approach to consult with the autistic individuals. The Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Model and the Social-Relational Model of Disability were adopted to inform my study. As suggested by the IPA, small and purposive sampling was adopted to understand the particular phenomena of participants in particular contexts in this study. Over the period 2018-2020, ten young males with HFASD, aged 16 to 24, were recruited to explore their experiences of sexuality in the Chinese context of Hong Kong. As some participants aged below 18 were enrolled in secondary school at the time of the study, approval was given to waive parental consent for these participants and some procedures were carried out to safeguard their best interests and minimize any potential risks. Three final superordinate themes with serval subthemes about the lived experience of participants in sexuality were yielded through the interpretative activity: 1) Experience about sexuality and relationships; 2) Experience of individual constraints in sexuality; and 3) Experience of sexuality education in school. The results suggest that the difficulties the participants encountered with sexuality and relationships differed, especially linked to their individual constraints associated with the impairments of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the disadvantaged social environment for learning sexual knowledge. In the process of exploring their experiences of sexuality, they generally felt uncomfortable about their own bodily growth, felt incompetent in romantic relationships, and felt ashamed about their sexual drive and behaviors. In particular, they viewed that the sexuality education they were receiving in school was limited, fragmented and irrelevant, and they mainly acquired sexual knowledge through self-exploration. The current findings raise public awareness about the significance of providing appropriate sexuality education for young people with HFASD. They help policy makers, sexuality educators and parents to improve the sexual health and well-being of this population by removing the barriers and creating an inclusive environment for learning sexual knowledge. Recommendations are provided for further research, policy change, curriculum development, training for professionals and parents, and the practice of sexuality educators for this population in Hong Kong society
Call Number:
LG51.H43 Dr 2021eb Shiuwfv
Permanent URL: